Segmentation Strategies of Multilinguals in Cracking the Welsh Language
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research aims to determine whether there is a bilingual advantage in the segmentation of an unfamiliar language. Speech segmentation is the method where speakers break up the speech stream into syllables and words. De la Cruz Pavia and colleagues suggest that both monolinguals and multilinguals will use prosodic cues to learn the language. Otake & Yoneyama (1998) suggest that multilinguals will only apply one speech segmentation strategy at a time in learning a language. Meanwhile, Salvatierra & Rosselli (2010) suggest that multilinguals may have similar performance because there is more to sift through. In the current study, participants listened to a short passage of Welsh, a language unfamiliar to all participants. Participants then heard a list of 70 words: 35 real Welsh words from the passage and 35 nonsense words constructed from parts of the real words in the passage. Participants indicated whether the words they heard were words of Welsh. There was no significant difference in performance between multilinguals and monolinguals; however, there was a significant main effect of accuracy, such that all participants had significantly more "correct" responses than "incorrect" responses. These results indicate that all participants learned to segment Welsh, but multilinguals did not outperform monolinguals.
Degree ProgramHonors College